toronto Archives - Urban Outdoors



Toronto may be known as Canada’s first city, but it’s also got a surprisingly wide variety of things to do outside. From skiing to running to hiking and biking, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors in and around the city. Hiking in Toronto is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get some fresh air and learn more about this amazing city. With old industrial areas, mountain views, and rocky cliffsides, there’s so much variety in the hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas. We created this guide to the best places for hiking near Toronto to help you plan your next outdoor adventure!

Photo Credit: Payton Chung (Flickr CC)

Easy Hikes in Toronto

Evergreen Brickworks

  • Trail Length: 2.4 kilometers
  • Location: Downtown Toronto

Located in the heart of Toronto, Evergreen Brickworks is an urban community space that occupies a former farm and brick factory that was built in the 1880s. Today, it offers community gathering spaces, as well as several footpaths and trails that are accessible to hikers of all levels and families so that they can get to know the vast outdoor and environmental opportunities in the Don River area.

The park’s paved trails wind through some of the old industrial structures of the original brick factory, as well as several green spaces. Perfect for a short stroll or an afternoon fresh air break, this unique hike is an easy way to go hiking in Toronto without leaving the city!

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite hiker? Here’s a comprehensive list of our
35 favorite (practical) gifts for hikers, updated for 2020!

High Park Trails

  • Trail Length: 5.3 kilometers
  • Location: High Park

For a more nature-infused outdoor experience, High Park is home to some of the most scenic urban hikes in Toronto. Located in the city, High Park’s paved paths offer an accessible and easy option for all levels, including children and dogs! The paths pass by the peaceful Grenadier Pond and through miles of shady forested areas, perfect for an early morning walk or a mid-day stroll. Because its mission is to help Toronto locals learn about the environment, the park also offers lots of classes about the outdoors, wildlife, and gardening.

Photo Credit: Karin Lewis (Bookatz) (Flickr CC)

East Don Parkland

  • Trail Length: 10.9 kilometers
  • Location: East Don Parkland

Situated in the outskirts of the city, the East Don Parkland trail is a wonderful and convenient place to go hiking in Toronto. Located on the Don River Watershed, the park area consists of several waterways that all flow into Lake Ontario. For hiking, the trails here are flat and easy, and are heavily forested with lots of wildlife. On a hike through, you’ll encounter some very picturesque historic bridges, tons of waterways, and paved pathways perfect for hikers of all levels.

Photo Credit: Ashton Emanuel (Flickr CC)

West Humber River Recreation Trail

  • Trail Length: 19 kilometers
  • Location: Downtown Toronto

If you’re looking for a longer urban trail for hiking in Toronto, West Humber River Recreation Trail is a fantastic option for you. Running along the peaceful West Humber River, you can typically find several Toronto locals here running, walking, or biking. The paved pathways of this 11.8-mile trail are perfect for hikers of all levels, as well as children and dogs. Along the way, you’ll find recreation areas, wooded patches, scenic waterways and bridges, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

In this article, we’ve covered some of the main trails, green spaces, and hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas, but we can’t cover nearly everything. If you’re interested in learning about even more trails, we’d recommend picking up a copy of Happy Trails: Biking and Hiking Adventures in the Greater Toronto Area.

Photo Credit: Viv Lynch (Flickr CC)

Scarborough Bluffs Trail

  • Trail Length: 6.8 kilometers
  • Location: Bluffer’s Park

Perhaps one of the most unique easy hikes in Toronto, Scarborough Bluffs looks like a landscape out of Greece or California. With towering, rugged cliffs bordering teal blue lake waters, this stunning recreation area is perfect for photographers or hikers seeking a true break from the city grind.

Located along Lake Ontario, the trail here leads you down to the beach, where you can wander and view the amazing bluffs (just don’t climb them, or you’ll face a hefty fine). As Scarborough Bluffs is one of the most popular day trips from Toronto, we’d strongly recommend going early in the morning to avoid heavy crowds along the trails.

Blue Mountain Cascade Trail

  • Trail Length: 3.5 kilometers
  • Location: Blue Mountains

It may be short, but the Blue Mountain Cascade Trail is one of the prettiest hikes in Toronto for hikers of all levels. Passing through 2.2 miles of forests, meadows, and scenic waterfalls, the trail is a perfect escape from the concrete and noise of the city. While there is a bit of an incline, the trail is fairly easy and accessible, and the rewards (and photo opportunities) of the surrounding scenery are well worth the hike!

Photo Credit: CO1867 (Flickr CC)

DeCew Falls

  • Trail Length: 2.3 kilometers
  • Location: Thorold

History lovers, listen up! DeCew Falls is one of the most unique hikes in Toronto for you. Beginning at the Morning Star Mill, this beautiful trail passes through the forest to a scenic view of Twelve Mile Creek and some very beautiful waterfalls. For an extra challenge, hike down to the creek so you can get a closer look. Note that this trail can get a little slippery and muddy, so it’s important to wear solid hiking boots and avoid after heavy rainfall.

Rouge Valley Vista Trail

  • Trail Length: 9 kilometers
  • Location: Rouge National Urban Park

For a tranquil outdoor getaway that’s not far from the city, the Rouge Valley Vista Trail is a fantastic place to experience the natural attractions that Toronto has to offer. This forest trail is quiet and peaceful, and offers lovely views of the creeks nearby, especially in the fall when the leaves blaze red, orange, and yellow. Many locals cite the Rouge Valley Vista Trail as one of their favorite hikes in Toronto (and with so many hikes to do, that’s pretty high praise!).

Photo Credit: Sean Marshall (Flickr CC)

Mount Nemo

  • Trail Length: 5.3 kilometers
  • Location: Mount Nemo Conservation Area

If you’re a hiking beginner but want to summit a mountain, Mount Nemo is one of the most accessible summit hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas. This forested trail is just 3.3 miles, but will take you up to the summit of Mount Nemo, which boasts views of the Toronto skyline and the nearby farmlands and countryside. The best time to hike the Mount Nemo trail is on the weekends, when it’s much less crowded and offers a quiet, peaceful experience to hikers of all levels.

After the winter or heavy rains, the trail can get very muddy and slippery, so be sure to wear solid hiking boots and avoid this hike when conditions are wetter than usual.

Photo Credit: Ram R (Flickr CC)

Moderate Hikes near Toronto

Dundas Peak Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Spencer Gorge Conservation Area

The Dundas Peak Trail is an absolutely epic place to go hiking in Toronto, featuring a historic mill and some stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Spencer Gorge waterfalls. Need we say more?

However, before you jump in a car and immediately head over, there are some serious pros and cons about this trail. The pros: it’s absolutely gorgeous, accessible to hikers of all levels, and one of the most iconic hikes in Toronto. The bad news? For this reason, this trail is one of the most crowded on our list. There are entrance fees and parking fees, and you’ll probably be waiting for things longer than you’ll actually be hiking. Go early and proceed with caution.

Lower Don River Trail

For those not wanting to go too far but still get a very nature-driven hiking experience, the Lower Don River Trail is one of the most wonderful spots for hiking in Toronto. This wooded trail follows the Don River and truly feels like an escape from the city, despite being right there in the middle of it. Needless to say, you’ll find peaceful waterways, easy, paved paths, and a bit of quiet on this beautiful trail.

Photo Credit: Chung Ho Leung (Flickr CC)

Cliff-Top Side Trail

  • Trail Length: 8 kilometers
  • Location: Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

Mono Cliffs is one of Ontario’s most beautiful provincial parks, and the Cliff-Top Side Trail is the perfect way to explore all it has to offer. With 5 miles of scenic, forested trails, you’ll pass by towering rock formations, quiet lakes with crystal clear water, and lots of wooden staircases that bring you up and down the cliffside.

While it’s not the easiest hike – there are lots of steps to climb – it’s certainly accessible to hikers of all levels in the warmer months of the year. During the winter, this trail can get very icy and slippery, so be sure to bring crampons and/or microspikes and proceed with caution if you choose to hike in cold weather.

Joker’s Hill Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Thornton Bales Conservation Area

Forest lovers will appreciate the lush wooded areas of Joker’s Hill Trail, which is located in the Thornton Bales Conservation Area. There’s not much in the way of sweeping views here, but there is plenty of plant life, wildlife, and shade for those hot summer days where you want to get outside but don’t want to suffer the direct sunlight of the mid-afternoon. Locals love this trail because it has dirt paths and feels separate from the city, but isn’t too difficult or exposed.

Photo Credit: Eric Parker (Flickr CC)

Leslie Street Spit Trail

  • Trail Length: 11 kilometers
  • Location: Tommy Thompson Park

Uniquely located on a peninsula in Lake Ontario, the Leslie Street Spit trail offers unparalleled views of the lake and city skyline. The park is actually a former construction site dumping ground that mother nature reclaimed over the years. You can still see piles of rubble and concrete along the trail, but amateur artists will frequently turn these into small pieces of temporary art.

No dogs are allowed on this trail, unfortunately. Most of the trail is an asphalt road shared by bikers, so be alert while trekking. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars as the park is a bird sanctuary, offering wildlife watchers plenty of things to do on this long hike near Toronto.

Albion Hills Trail

  • Trail Length: 12 kilometers
  • Location: Albion Hills Conservation Area

Albion Hills is one of the closest parks to Toronto if you’re looking for an overnight getaway. The park has a nice lake and campgrounds for families and solo hikers alike. There are many short trails inside the park, but they can be combined together into a moderately difficult 12 kilometer loop trail that circumscribes the park. Expects dense trees, wild raspberries, and lots of deer on the trail. Locals recommend bringing a GPS or map with you as the trail seems to be poorly marked, making it easy to get lost.

Photo Credit: ndh (Flickr CC)

Rattlesnake Point & Nassagaweya Canyon Loop

  • Trail Length: 10.5 kilometers
  • Location: Crawford Lake Conservation Area

As one of the most strikingly beautiful hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas, the hike to Rattlesnake Point is a local’s favorite. Majestic forests, striking rock formations and canyons, and sweeping viewpoints characterize this 10.5 kilometer trail, which has fairly challenging ascents and descents. The trail is also home to lots of local wildlife, so don’t be surprised if you come across some critters along your hike!

*Note that there’s an entrance fee of $7 to enter this park area.

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area

  • Trail Length: 4.2 kilometers
  • Location: Grimsby

Few trails on our list have access to the panoramic views of Lake Ontario that Beamer Memorial Conservation Area has. This moderately difficult trail has a great variety of sights to see – from the sweeping views of the lake to tiny waterfalls scattered across the trail. Throughout the trail, there are lots of walkways and stairs that bring you through the woods and up to many of the overlooks. There are lots of overlooks here that boast views of the surrounding countryside, and there are also ample opportunities for wildlife viewing along the way.

Photo Credit: Joe Nicholl (Flickr CC)

Tom East Side, Cam Snell Side, and Bruce Trails Loop (Hockley Valley Trails)

  • Trail Length: 13.8 kilometers
  • Location: Hockley Valley Provincial Park

If you’re looking for a full-day, moderate hike, the Tom East Side, Cam Snell Side, and Bruce Trails Loop in Hockley Valley Provincial Park is a perfect way to spend a day hiking near Toronto. This long trail winds through meadows, forests, and creeks, and provides a much-needed respite from the noise and chaos of the city. In the springtime, the entire trail turns bright green and has lots of local wildflowers blooming along the edges. Many locals love this trail for the variety, length, and scenery that’s unique to this area.

Challenging Hikes near Toronto

Bruce Trail to the Grotto

  • Trail Length: 7.7 kilometers
  • Location: Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve

Arguably topping the list of scenic hikes in Toronto is the Bruce Trail to the Grotto, a difficult but incredibly beautiful hike located in Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve. While it’s not the longest hike on our list, it’s definitely one of the most challenging. Definitely not a hike for young children, beginners, or the faint of heart! This rocky path consists of lots of scrambling and frequent ascents and descents, but you’ll be rewarded with the stunning views of the Grotto (pictured above), as well as a cold dip in its teal blue waters.

Ganaraska Trail: Devil’s Lake to Black River Road

  • Trail Length: 30.9 kilometers (suitable for camping)
  • Location: Minden Hills

The Ganaraska Trail is one of Canada’s longest hiking trails, and hiking a stretch of it is a rite of passage for any Canadian hiker. The Devil’s Lake to Black River Road is one of the most scenic stretches of this hiking trail, and also one of the more difficult ones. You’ll find plenty of technical hiking here, with rocky trails and scrambles beginning very early on in the hike.

This hike is point-to-point, meaning that you’ll need to find transportation back to your starting point, or turn back around to reach the beginning. To shorten the hike, you can turn back around at Victoria Lake and head back to where you started. Alternatively, you can turn this trail into a multi-day backpacking excursion and camp at Victoria Lake, Sheldon Lake, or any of the other various campsites along the way.

Additional Resources for Hiking near Toronto

What to Bring for Hiking in Toronto

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Articles

While Toronto is commonly seen as a big city full of concrete and buildings, it’s a surprisingly incredible city for outdoor adventures. Wintertime is no exception – there are several amazing places to get outside and go snowboarding or skiing near Toronto. To help you plan an incredible winter getaway, we’ve compiled this list of the best ski resorts near Toronto!

The Best Places to Go Snowboarding & Skiing Near Toronto

Glen Eden

  • Distance from Toronto: 61 kilometers (50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly beginner and intermediate

Located under one hour from Toronto, Glen Eden Resort is a fantastic family-friendly choice for beginner skiers. This small resort consists of just 12 trails across 10 acres, ranging from beginner to advanced. Beginner snowboarders and skiers can opt to participate in the CORE program, which caters to first-time riders.

Because of its proximity to Toronto, Glen Eden is perfect for a day trip or an afternoon on the slopes. The prices here are reasonable compared to the larger resort, making skiing here especially attractive for Toronto dwellers and beginners. In addition to downhill skiing, you can also try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing there as well.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on ON-401 W, then onto Regional Road 4 to Regional Road 22, onto Kelso Road to the resort. If you want to go without a car, there is a train from Union Station (1 hr, $6) to Milton, the town where the resort is located. From there, it’s a short taxi ride to the mountain.


  • Distance from Toronto: 65.6 kilometers (< 1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Lakeridge is one of the closest ski resorts near Toronto, perfect for a day trip or even a quick afternoon on the slopes. With 23 trails over 70 acres of skiable terrain, it’s a pretty small resort that has beginner to advanced slopes. Here, you can go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing – there are designated areas for each sport within the park. Some even say that Lakeridge had the first ski tow in the Toronto area!

Not only is Lakeridge easily accessible from Toronto, but it’s also one of the most affordable places to ski. Toronto locals can purchase special coupon booklets with vouchers, or take advantage of lots of Groupon deals for the resort. Visitors love that the resort is friendly for beginners and first-timers, but has smooth progressions to challenge yourself and build your skills. Also note that it can get icy during the coldest days, so be sure to check the daily snow conditions on their website before planning a trip.

How to Get There: If driving, start on ON-407 E, onto lake ridge rd, if not driving, GO Transit operates a bus from Toronto to Uxbridge 4 times a day. Tickets cost $10 – $13 and the journey takes 1h 6m. Alternatively, GO Transit operates a train from Toronto to Uxbridge every 4 hours. Tickets cost $8 – $12 and the journey takes 1h 13m.

Hockley Valley

  • Distance from Toronto: 81 kilometers (1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, the Hockley Valley Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

As one of the closest ski resorts to Toronto, Hockley Valley is an easy day trip or weekend getaway for frolicking in the snow. While it’s a smaller resort with just 16 trails, Toronto dwellers love it because it’s just 1 hour outside of the city and has extended night skiing hours perfect for an after-work ski or snowboard session. There are trails ranging from bunny hills to double black diamonds, so you know a day of skiing here will have something for everyone.

We love promoting businesses that care about sustainability, and Hockley Valley embodies these values to a T. Their goal is to become the greenest ski resort in Ontario and has many ongoing initiatives to back that up. While the resort is often seen as “no frills,” it’s a great, close option for snowboarding or skiing near Toronto.

How to Get There: If you’re driving, take Horseshoe Hill Road, to ON-9 W, onto Mono 3rd Line until you reach resort. If not driving, there is a bus from Union Station to Brampton (50 minutes, $5) then a taxi ride from Brampton to the resort (30 minutes).


  • Distance from Toronto: 102 kilometers (~1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Chicopee is a small area to go skiing and snowboarding near Toronto. Clocking in at about an hour away from the city, the resort’s 14 trails are a day and night attraction for winter sports lovers. The resort was a pioneer for club skiing; it started in the 1930’s by a group called “Dutch Companee,” making a name for itself in the area across generations. For beginners, there’s a snow school where you can opt to take lessons.

Locals love Chicopee because it’s close to Toronto and considered to be an “inner city gem.” It’s also considered to be an important part of Kitchener’s history, and is owned by a local non-profit organization. You can even see views of the city from the top of the hill!

How to Get There: If you are planning on driving, start on ON-401 W, to regional road 8 towards Kitchener then King St. E to the mountain. If you are not driving, there are buses that leave hourly from Toronto to Kitchener (2 hr, $11).


  • Distance from Toronto: 106 kilometers (~1 hr 20 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate and advanced

Mansfield is one of the most beloved, small ski resorts near Toronto, with plenty of skiing and snowboarding trails for all levels. Started in the 60’s, the resort was known originally as “Mansfield Skiways.” Ever since, it has been a ski club focused in its members. At less than 1.5 hours from the city, Mansfield Ski Club is an easy day trip or weekend getaway for those wanting to hit the slopes. On site, there are 17 trails, the majority of which cater to intermediate and advanced level skiers and snowboarders.

Visitors and locals love Mansfield Ski Club for its impeccably groomed trails, private, exclusive vibe, and social atmosphere. You can also try snowshoeing and snow biking here if you’re looking for a change of scenery.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mansfield is to rent a car. If you are driving, head south on Bay St toward Albert St, continue to ON-427 to Regional Road 7 to Country Road 17 to the resort.

Horseshoe Valley

  • Distance from Toronto: 127 kilometers (1 hour, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Horseshoe Valley Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels, mostly difficult

Horseshoe Valley is a winter lover’s paradise – this resort offers the best of skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and tubing to intrepid city dwellers. At just 1 hour and 20 minutes from the city, Horseshoe Valley is a beloved spot for snowboarding and skiing near Toronto. As one of the larger ski resorts in Ontario, there are a mix of trails across 57 acres ranging from easy to expert-level.

With a ski school and several non-skiing/snowboarding resort amenities, there’s a ton to do here on and off the slopes. To get the most for your money, you can get great deals on lift tickets with their Double Play discount. Most people who visit Horseshoe Valley like it because it’s easy to get to and affordable, and has something for everyone, even first-timers and non-skiers.

How to Get There: If you are planning on driving, take Hwy 400 North to Horseshoe Valley Road. Then, take exit 117 and follow Horseshoe Valley Road to the resort. If you are not driving, Ontario Northland operates a bus from Toronto to Horseshoe Valley. Alternatively, GO Transit operates a train from Toronto to Horseshoe Valley. Both the bus and train take between 1.5 and 2 hours.

Blue Mountain

  • Distance from Toronto: 159 kilometers (2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Blue Mountain Resort
  • Experience Level: All levels

Located in one of the most picturesque areas of Ontario, Blue Mountain has 43 trails (30 for night use) across 364 skiable acres. Described by many as the “perfect Canadian getaway,” Blue Mountain Resort is a truly gorgeous winter escape for snowboarding and skiing near Toronto.

For when you’re not shredding the slopes, the resort boast an indoor tennis court and is close to several cute, small mountain towns with local shops and restaurants. During the holidays, the resort gets totally decked out in adorable lights and decorations. (Did we mention it’s an amazing place for a winter getaway?!)

How to Get There: If you are driving, start driving on Hurontario Street, then ON-427 toward the resort. If you are not planning on driving, AUC Tours provides a daily, affordable shuttle service to Blue Mountain Resort from Toronto/GTA. 

Snow Valley

  • Distance from Toronto: 118 kilometers (1 hour, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site, but you can find several hotels nearby
  • Ability Level: All levels, family-oriented and beginner-friendly

Snow Valley is a tiny ski resort – just 40 skiable acres – located less than 1.5 hours from Toronto. This recreational area is more of a ski hill and less of a full-scale resort, but it’s beloved by locals and visitors nonetheless.

Named as Ontario’s best ski hill for kids by Ski Canada Magazine, Snow Valley’s emphasis is on beginners and family skiing. In fact, there’s a special 2-hour discount pass, the Family Value Pack, designed specifically for families with young kids. The resort boasts one of the largest ski schools in Ontario. There’s also snow tubing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports available on site.

How to Get There: If driving, start on ON-400 N towards to Barrie, turn onto Vespra Valley Road. If not driving, there is an Ontario Northland bus that operates 5 times a day to Barrie, just a short taxi ride to the mountain from there ($19)

Mount St. Louis Moonstone

  • Distance from Toronto: 142 kilometers (1.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

As one of the largest family owned resorts in Ontario, Mount St. Louis Moonstone is one of the most adored ski resorts near Toronto. On site, they’ve got 36 trails across 2 mountains that are a mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult. And snowboarders, you’re in luck here, as the resort has special coaching programs just for you (sorry skiers, but you get a lot of love elsewhere).

Visitors like Mount St. Louis for its progressive trails that make learning easy. With 8 parks across various experience levels, it’s a fantastic place to learn new skills or practice. There’s also night skiing so you can extend the amount of time you’re on the slopes well into the evening hours. Note that while the resort makes every effort to maintain and groom trails, the weather here can often be windy and rainy, causing slopes to be icy sometimes.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mount St. Louis Moonstone is by car. If you are driving, take Hwy. 400 north, towards Barrie and Parry Sound/ Sudbury (26 km) until you reach exit 131 (Mount St. Louis Road). If you are not driving, there is a bus that runs twice a day from Toronto to Coldwater (2 hours, $21), where you can take a taxi to the resort.

Hidden Valley Highlands

  • Distance from Toronto: 242 kilometers (2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Hidden Valley Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

Hidden Valley Highlands is a small, family-friendly, charming ski resort located 2.5 hours from Toronto. Here, you can find 15 trails, most of which are rated as intermediate level. There’s also a ski school for kids and adults, including a fantastic beginner deal called Discover Skiing/Snowboarding, which provides discounts on rentals, lessons, and lift tickets.

The resort is close to the mountain, making it ideal for those wanting to spend a lot of time on the slopes. Night skiing is available on all of the trails as well. Visitors love the well-groomed trails and snowmaking, which means fresh powder more often than not.

How to Get There: If you plan on driving, located just off Highway 60, 6 km east of downtown Huntsville, close to Deerhurst Resort and the Hidden Valley Resort. If you do not want to drive, there is a bus from Toronto to Huntsville 3 times a day (4 hr, $30), then a short taxi ride to the resort/mountain.

Holiday Valley, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 2 hr 45 min (242 km)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Inn at Holiday Valley
  • Ability Level: All levels

One of the larger ski resorts near Toronto, Holiday Valley, is actually located in New York state. Crossing the border from Canada to the US is well worth it to ski at the best resort in western New York! This 290-acre resort offers 60 trails, 39 which are open for night skiing. There are a few terrain park areas as well for some more adventurous riding, a few which are friendly for beginners to try. The Mardi Gras Rail Park is a beginner to intermediate level terrain area for those just getting in to park riding.

If you’re planning to visit Holiday Valley Resort, the best time to take advantage of discounts is during the week. It’s a family friendly resort with lodging on-site, perfect for a winter getaway or a weekday vacation. Visitors adore the ski resort as well as the charming town nearby.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on Queen Elizabeth Way towards Ontario, then on the Peace Bridge to US-219 S onto Holiday Valley Road. If you are not driving, there are buses hourly from Toronto to Buffalo, NY, then bus from Buffalo to Ellicottville. (4 hr, $30)

Bristol Mountain, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 317 kilometers (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site, but many ski/stay packages are available with hotels in Finger Lakes
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Bristol Mountain is a beautiful place to go skiing near Toronto. There are 138 skiable acres of terrain, with the vast majority of Bristol’s 38 trails rated beginner or intermediate-friendly. Another major plus of Bristol Mountain is that most of the trails are lit for night skiing, perfect for extending your slope adventures into the evening. Because 100% of the snow here is man made, the conditions at Bristol Mountain tend to be pristine on most days of the year.

The resort is perfect for beginners and more intermediate skiers and snowboarders alike, with special programs and packages for first-timers. Visitors love Bristol Mountain because it’s one of the most beloved ski hills in upstate New York, with beginner-friendly programs, well-groomed trails, and kind staff. However, some note that the trail splits can be confusing, as many beginner trails connect with more advanced ones. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself with a delicious waffle from the Waffle Hut!

How to Get There: If driving, take I-90 E towards Albany, take exit 44 for NY-332 toward Canandaigua, then US-20A W until resort. If not driving, there is a bus from Toronto to Rochester, NY (4hr 30 min, $20), then a taxi ride is needed for the additional 30 miles to Bristol Mountain

Green Peak Mountain Resort, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 460 kilometers (~4.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Green Peak Mountain Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

With 56 trails across 220 skiable terrain, Green Peak Mountain Resort is one of New York’s most beloved winter sports hubs and is a fantastic place to go skiing and snowboarding new Toronto. Suitable for all levels, the trails have a fairly even spread across easy, intermediate, and difficult, including 4 terrain parks for some extra fun. Many of the trails are lit up for night access.

For non-skiers and snowboarders, the park offers snow tubing, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing as well. Visitors enjoy the resort because it’s reasonably priced, has a cozy on-site lodge, and includes plenty of family-friendly amenities like an indoor water park. The nearby Finger Lakes region is also a stunning place to explore, with several parks and waterfalls in the area.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-90 E towards Albany, I-690 E to I-81 S, to US-11 S until resort. If you are not driving, there is a bus directly from Toronto to Cortland, NY (7 hr, $22).

Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride

  • Distance from Toronto: 227.5 kilometers (~3 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

If you’re looking for a small resort suitable for all levels, Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride is a perfect option. This family-owned ski area has been operating for over 50 years, making it one of the oldest family owned resorts in Ontario. With just 14 trails rated beginner through advanced, there’s a a little something for everyone at Sir Sam’s, which is a perfect spot for avoiding big crowds and commercial resorts. The resort also offers a terrain park, a ski school, and several races throughout the year that are open to the public.

For non-skiers, there are also opportunities to snowshoe on nearby trails, which boast panoramic views of Eagle Lake and Moose Lake. Additionally, the summit of the ski hill has lovely views over Eagle River. Visitors love the friendliness of the owners and staff, and the intimate, family-friendly vibe of the resort.

How to get There: If you are driving, start on ON-11 towards North Bay, continue to Haliburton, ON-118 E, signs for Eagle River to resort. If you are not driving, there is a bus from Toronto to Sharbot Lake Junction (5 hr, $25), then a 20 min taxi ride to Sir Sam’s.

Peek’N Peak, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 309 kilometers (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the The Peek’N Peak Inn
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

Peek’N Peak Resort is one of the most beloved ski resorts near Toronto, located approximately 3.5 hours outside of the city in neighboring New York state. This small, well-run park offers 25 trails and 3 terrain parks, with areas suitable for beginners all the way to more advanced riders. While the majority of trails are intermediate-level, there’s a good mix for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Peek’N Peak offers 7 lanes of snow tubing, a fun activity for riders and non-riders alive. Their program for beginners consists of 5 steps to help reinforce skills learned and build strength. Skiers and snowboarders love the resort for its charming, cozy vibe, and especially enjoy the various amenities – a beautiful restaurant, a sauna, and a hot tub, to name a few.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Peek’N Peak is by car. If you are planning on driving, start on I-90 W towards Fort Erie, then NY-394 to NY76 S to resort.

Swain Resort, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 275 kilometers (~3 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

For a fun, well-rounded winter sports experience, Swain Resort is a smaller but quite comprehensive ski resort near the Finger Lakes area that boasts 35 trails and 2 terrain parks across 120 skiable acres. There’s a good mix of trails ranging from beginner to advanced, with lessons available for first-timers and beginners looking for a refresher. The trails here tend to be slightly shorter than on other mountains, but people enjoy the variety of the terrain.

As one of the less expensive places to ski in New York, visitors love how accessible the resort is for all kinds of skiers and snowboarders. It’s pretty easy to get to, has tons of parking, and boasts a huge rental shop with any kind of equipment you may need.

How to Get There: Driving is the easiest and most convenient way to get to Swain’s Resort from Toronto. If you are driving, start on Queen Elizabeth Way and head towards Erie, across Peace Bridge to NY-70 S to resort.

Calabogie Peaks

  • Distance from Toronto: 375 kilometers (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Calabogie Peaks Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

As the tallest mountain resort in Eastern Ontario, Calabogie Peaks offers 24 trails across 80 acres, spread across all levels. Overlooking Sand Bay on Calabogie Lake, there’s no shortage of picturesque views at this resort. With the longest beginner trail in the province, Calabogie Peaks offers tons of opportunities for beginners and those looking to sharpen their skills. With a resort lodge on-site, Calabogie Peaks makes for a perfect winter weekend getaway from Toronto. For non-skiers, there’s an idyllic ski town nearby that is perfect for a mid-winter stroll.

How to Get There: If driving, start on ON-401 E, then to ON-37 N to Calabogie Rd. If not driving, the VIA Rail has a train from Toronto to Fallowfield (4 hr, $65), then an additional 1 hr 15 min drive to Calabogie by car

Mont Cascades

  • Distance from Toronto: 476 kilometers (~4 hours, 45 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

Located just 20 minutes from Ottawa, Mont Cascades is a popular day trip for city dwellers. While it’s not super close to Toronto, it is accessible when paired with a trip to Ottawa or for a long weekend adventure. The resort has 20 trails, the majority of which are intermediate level, across 60 acres of terrain. Gratton is the longest run, which spans two whole miles, and the resort offers one of the only double black diamond trails in the area.

The mountain here is comprised of 2 sides – the North Side and the World Cup Side. These two distinct areas offer a variety of terrain and scenery to explore. Beginners and first-timers can take classes at the ski school and make rental reservations online. For a discount, head to Mont Cascades of Wednesdays, when lift tickets are half off. There are also 25 km of snowshoe trails available via the resort.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on ON-401 E towards Ottawa, then autoroute 50 E to QC_307 N to resort. If not driving, there is a train from Toronto to Ottawa via VIA Rail (4 hr 30 min, $65), then 30 min taxi ride to the mountain.

Photo Credit: Artur Staszewski (Flickr CC)

Mont Tremblant

  • Distance from Toronto: 600 kilometers (~6 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Mont Tremblant Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels, but most trails are intermediate to difficult 

As one of the largest and most renowned ski resorts in Canada, Mont Tremblant has an expansive 755 skiable acres, with 102 distinct trails. Mont Tremblant means “the mountain that trembled” in Algonquin, and it’s easy to see why when you arrive at this breathtakingly beautiful spot in the Laurentian Mountains. Some visitors even call out Mont Tremblant as one of the best places to go skiing in the East, and we’re definitely not surprised.

There’s natural snow and snowmaking on the slopes, making for well-maintained conditions for skiers. While there are plenty of resources for beginner skiers, the resort is beloved by more experienced folks looking for a challenge. Mont Tremblant definitely isn’t the cheapest spot on our list, but if you’re looking for a true adventure at one of the most iconic ski resorts in Canada, Mont Tremblant is one of the best ski resorts near Toronto and is definitely worth the trek!

How to Get There: Driving or flying via Montreal are the best ways to get to Mont Tremblant.

Additional Resources for Toronto Skiing & Snowboarding

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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